A little late I know and I haven't posted in a while but I cooked two turkeys for Thanksgiving along with a leg of venison. It all came out great.
This Thanksgiving I tried some new things. If you can’t experiment on friends and family who can you experiment on? I planned to cook two turkeys and was trying for a crispy skin. In the past my turkey skin, while tasty, has been rubbery. Two ways I tried to fix this were by drying the turkey after brining and cooking hotter than I normally do. I also cooked a leg of venison. This was something new for me. I have smoked smaller cuts of venison before but never a whole leg.
I did some research on the web to find out the best ways to achieve my turkey cooking goals and to cook the venison. I then planned it out and created a schedule of what I needed to do when. It made the whole process and cooking go much easier. Below are pictures of what I did.
My brother-in-laws asked me to roast a leg of venison for Thanksgiving. This was a new experience for me. I did some searching around the web for a good recipe and came across one on the Field & Stream site here: Roast venison Leg
When I made the rub it had a very woodsy smell to it. I thought it might taste too much like a pine tree so I tasted it. It was good. I think this rub would work well on some other cuts of meat too. I also learned that I needed to cook the leg longer than I did. I’m not sure what happened with my thermometer as it was reading 160° when I stuck it into the leg. I might have hit the bone, didn’t go in far enough or went too far. When I carved it, it was still raw in the middle. I’m not talking some juices flowing out, I mean uncooked. I finished carving it and we put it into the oven for a bit. It got a bit overcooked then. The meat was very tasty once we tried it. It didn’t have the off putting gamey taste to it. I would cook this again and try to improve on how I do it.
I was going to try a new way to do the turkey that I found on Amazingribs.com and try to get the skin crispy. One of the things they do on Amazing Ribs is put the turkey over the gravy mixture. As I was loading the cooker Thanksgiving Day I discovered my cooker wasn’t tall enough. I ended up putting the gravy pan on the grill and let it cook with the rest of the meat. It came out great and the turkeys were awesome as usual.
I also let the turkeys dry in the fridge for 24 hours. The drying process is to help the skin dry out so it doesn’t have as much moisture and can crisp when it cooks. The skin didn’t get super crispy but it was not rubbery like it has been in the past. I liked it much better than previous turkeys I’ve done.